Sting’s early life was dominated by a shipyard—and he dreamed of nothing more than escaping the industrial drudgery. But after a nasty bout of writer’s block that stretched on for years, Sting found himself channeling the stories of the shipyard workers he knew in his youth for song material. In a lyrical, confessional talk, Sting treats us to songs from his upcoming musical, and to an encore of “Message in a Bottle.” Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, creativity, live music, music, performance, TED2014, 2014
Megan Washington is one of Australia's premier singer/songwriters. And, since childhood, she has had a stutter. In this bold and personal talk, she reveals how she copes with this speech impediment—from avoiding the letter combination “st” to tricking her brain by changing her words at the last minute to, yes, singing the things she has to say rather than speaking them. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, disability, live music, music, TEDxSydney, 2014
Born three and a half months prematurely, Derek Paravicini is blind and has severe autism. But with perfect pitch, innate talent and a lot of practice, he became an acclaimed concert pianist by the age of 10. Here, his longtime piano teacher, Adam Ockelford, explains his student’s unique relationship to music, while Paravicini shows how he has ripped up the "Chopsticks" rule book. (Filmed at TEDxWarwick.) Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, disability, live music, music, TEDxWarwick, 2013
For his first studio album release in decades, musical innovator Thomas Dolby has been composing music in the uniquely inspirational setting of a restored life-boat. Here he premieres a gorgeous, evocative song from that album -- about one night with a legend. He's backed by members of the modern string quartet Eth Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, entertainment, history, live music, music, TED2010, 2010
French filmmaker Vincent Moon travels the world with just a backpack, a laptop and a camera. He’s filmed Arcade Fire in an elevator and Bon Iver in an apartment kitchen – and single-shot films of a Sufi ritual in Chechnya and an ayahuasca journey in Peru. In this talk, he explains how film and music can help people see their own cultures in a new way. Followed by a performance by jazz icon Naná Vasconcelos. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, film, live music, music, TEDGlobal 2014, 2014
In a highly entertaining performance, beatboxer Tom Thum slings beats, comedy and a mouthful of instrumental impersonations into 11 minutes of creativity and fun that will make you smile. ( Filmed at TEDxSydney .) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, creativity, live music, music, TEDxSydney, 2013
In her quest to become a world-famous violinist, Ji-Hae Park fell into a severe depression. Only music was able to lift her out again -- showing her that her goal needn’t be to play lofty concert halls, but instead to bring the wonder of the instrument to as many people as possible. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, creativity, live music, music, TED2013, 2013
Legendary jazz musician Herbie Hancock delivers a stunning performance alongside two old friends -- past drummer for the Headhunters, Harvey Mason, and bassist Marcus Miller. Listen to the end to hear them sweeten the classic Watermelon Man. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, arts, live music, music, performance, TED2009, 2009
Virtuoso Pamelia Kurstin performs and discusses her theremin, the not-just-for-sci-fi electronic instrument that is played without being touched. Songs include "Autumn Leaves," "Lush Life" and David Mash’s "Listen, Words Are Gone." Topics: TEDTalks, TED2002, TED, Talks, live music, music, performance, technology, 2002
Guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela combine furiously fast riffs and dazzling rhythms to create a style that draws on both flamenco guitar and heavy metal in this live performance of their song, "The Soundmaker." Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, guitar, live music, music, performance, TED2015, 2015
Ge Wang makes computer music, but it isn’t all about coded bleeps and blips. With the Stanford Laptop Orchestra, he creates new instruments out of unexpected materials—like an Ikea bowl—that allow musicians to play music that’s both beautiful and expressive. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, music, technology, TEDxStanford, 2014
Eric Lewis explores the piano's expressive power as he pounds and caresses the keys (and the strings) in a performance during the 2009 TED Prize session. He plays an original song, a tribute to ocean and sky and the vision of the TED Prize winners. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2009, TED, Talks, art, entertainment, live music, music, piano, 2009
Percussionist Sivamani delivers one of TED's liveliest and most inventive performances yet. He uses traditional Western and Eastern instruments to create a rhythmic tour de force, along with a tub of water, corrugated metal, spoons, luggage, our stage props and even a little audience participation. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, arts, live music, music, performance, TEDIndia 2009, 2009
Musician and inventor Onyx Ashanti demonstrates "beatjazz" -- his music created with two handheld controllers, an iPhone and a mouthpiece, and played with the entire body. At TED's Full Spectrum Auditions, after locking in his beats and loops, he plays a 3-minute song that shares his vision for the future of music. Topics: TEDTalks, Full Spectrum Auditions, TED, Talks, design, entertainment, live music, music,...
Legendary dance choreographer Bill T. Jones and TED Fellows Joshua Roman and Somi didn't know exactly what was going to happen when they took the stage at TED2015. They just knew they wanted to offer the audience an opportunity to witness creative collaboration in action. The result: An improvised piece they call "The Red Circle and the Blue Curtain," so extraordinary it had to be shared ... Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, dance, entertainment, live music, music, performance, TED2015, 2015
Robert Gupta, violinist with the LA Philharmonic, talks about a violin lesson he once gave to a brilliant, schizophrenic musician -- and what he learned. Called back onstage later, Gupta plays his own transcription of the prelude from Bach's Cello Suite No. 1. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, arts, brain, education, entertainment, live music, music, violin, TED2010,...
Imagine hearing great, departed pianists play again today, just as they would in person. John Q. Walker demonstrates how recordings can be analyzed for precise keystrokes and pedal motions, then played back on computer-controlled grand pianos. Topics: TEDTalks, EG 2007, TED, Talks, entertainment, live music, music, performance, piano, technology,...
Tod Machover of MIT's Media Lab is devoted to extending musical expression to everyone, from virtuosos to amateurs, and in the most diverse forms, from opera to video games. He and composer Dan Ellsey shed light on what's next. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, creativity, demo, design, entertainment, health care, live music, music,...
Featuring the vocals and mischievous bell-playing of accordionist and singer Rachelle Garniez, the TED House Band -- led by Thomas Dolby on keyboard -- delivers this delightful rendition of the Edith Piaf standard "La Vie en Rose." Topics: TEDTalks, TED2004, TED, Talks, arts, entertainment, live music, music, performance, short talk, 2004
Human beatbox James "AudioPoet" Burchfield performs an intricate three-minute breakdown -- sexy, propulsive hip-hop rhythms and turntable textures -- all using only his voice. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2003, TED, Talks, entertainment, humor, illusion, live music, music, performance, 2003
In this soaring demonstration, deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie illustrates how listening to music involves much more than simply letting sound waves hit your eardrums. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2003, TED, Talks, Featured, arts, creativity, entertainment, live music, music,...
A genre unto herself, Kaki King fuses the ancient tradition of working with one's hands with digital technology, projection-mapping imagery onto her guitar in her groundbreaking multimedia work "The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body." Using her guitar's neck like a keyboard, she plays an intricate melody as she takes the audience on a musical journey of light and sound. She calls it "guitar as paintbrush." Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, art, creativity, guitar, innovation, live music, music, performance, TEDWomen...
All under the age of 16, brothers Jonny, Robbie and Tommy Mizzone are from New Jersey, a US state that's better known for the rock of Bruce Springsteen than the bluegrass of Earl Scruggs. Nonetheless, the siblings began performing bluegrass covers, as well as their own compositions, at a young age. Here, they play three dazzling songs in three different keys, passing the lead back and forth from fiddle to banjo to guitar. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, children, entertainment, live music, music, performance, wunderkind, TED2013,...
The nine women in this chorus have all been sentenced to life in prison. They share a moving song about their experiences — one that reveals their hopes, regrets and fears. "I'm not an angel," sings one, "but I'm not the devil." Filmed at an independent TEDx event inside Muncy State Prison, it's a rare and poignant look inside the world of people imprisoned with no hope of parole. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, music, prison, TEDxMuncyStatePrison, 2014
Sampling isn't about "hijacking nostalgia wholesale," says Mark Ronson. It's about inserting yourself into the narrative of a song while also pushing that story forward. In this mind-blowingly original talk, watch the DJ scramble 15 TED Talks into an audio-visual omelette, and trace the evolution of "La Di Da Di," Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick's 1984 hit that has been reimagined for every generation since. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, music, performance, TED2014, 2014
Singer-songwriter Dawn Landes tells the story of Tori Murden McClure, who dreamed of rowing across the Atlantic in a small boat — but whose dream was almost capsized by waves the size of a seven-story building. Through video, story and song, Landes imagines the mindset of a woman alone in the midst of the vast ocean. (This talk was part of a session at TED2015 guest-curated by Pop-Up Magazine: popupmagazine.com or @popupmag on Twitter.) Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, adventure, music, TED2015, 2015
After Vusi Mahlasela's 3-song set at TEDGlobal, the audience wouldn't let him go. His encore, "Woza," showcases his brilliant guitar playing and multilingual lyrics. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDGlobal 2007, TED, Talks, Africa, entertainment, guitar, live music, music, 2007
Eric Lewis, an astonishingly talented crossover jazz pianist -- seen by many for the first time at TED2009 -- sets fire to the keys with his shattering rendition of Evanescence's chart-topper, "Going Under." Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, arts, entertainment, innovation, invention, live music, music, performance,...
Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it -- and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2008, TED, Talks, Buddhism, arts, creativity, culture, entertainment, leadership, live...
"The human voice: mysterious, spontaneous, primal." With these words, soprano Claron McFadden invites us to explore the mysteries of breathing and singing, as she performs the challenging "Aria," by John Cage. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDxAmsterdam, TED, Talks, arts, creativity, entertainment, music, 2010
Playing sound effects both pleasant and awful, Julian Treasure shows how sound affects us in four significant ways. Listen carefully for a shocking fact about noisy open-plan offices. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDGlobal 2009, TED, Talks, birds, business, entertainment, music, 2009
Designer Jared Ficklin creates wild visualizations that let us see music, using color and even fire (a first for the TED stage) to analyze how sound makes us feel. He takes a brief digression to analyze the sound of a skatepark -- and how audio can clue us in to developing creativity. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, creativity, music, visualizations, TED2012, 2012
It's a master class in collaboration as violinist Robert Gupta and cellist Joshua Roman perform Halvorsen's "Passacaglia" for violin and viola. Roman takes the viola part on his Stradivarius cello. It's powerful to watch the two musicians connect moment to moment (and recover from a mid-performance hiccup). The two are both TED Fellows, and their deep connection powers this sparkling duet. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2011, TED, Talks, collaboration, creativity, entertainment, live music, 2011
As his career grew, David Byrne went from playing CBGB to Carnegie Hall. He asks: Does the venue make the music? From outdoor drumming to Wagnerian operas to arena rock, he explores how context has pushed musical innovation. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, arts, future, history, music, TED2010, 2010
After Robert Lang's talk on origami at TED2008, Bruno Bowden stepped onstage with a challenge -- he would fold one of Lang's astonishingly complicated origami figures, blindfolded, in under 2 minutes. He's accompanied by the cellist Rufus Cappadocia. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2008, TED, Talks, cello, entertainment, music, origami, 2008
Nicole Paris was raised to be a beatboxer — when she was young, her father, Ed Cage, used to beatbox her to sleep at night. Now the duo is known for their beatbox battles and jam sessions, which mix classic rap beats with electronic dance sounds. Prepare yourself for a bit of a hip-hop history lesson, and enjoy the show. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, TEDYouth, art, entertainment, family, live music, music, performance,...
Animal fan Nellie McKay sings a sparkling tribute to her dear dog. She suggests we all do the same: "Just go right to the pound/ And find yourself a hound/ And make that doggie proud/ 'cause that's what it's all about." Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, entertainment, live music, music, piano, TED2008, 2008
Nora York gives a stunning performance of her song "What I Want," with Jamie Lawrence (keyboards), Steve Tarshis (guitar) and Arthur Kell (bass). Topics: TEDTalks, TEDSalon 2006, TED, Talks, Featured, arts, entertainment, live music, music, poetry,...
Imogen Heap plays a powerful stripped-down version of "Wait It Out," from her new record, Ellipse. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, creativity, entertainment, live music, music, performance, piano, TEDGlobal...
When Robert Gupta was caught between a career as a doctor and as a violinist, he realized his place was in the middle, with a bow in his hand and a sense of social justice in his heart. He tells a moving story of society’s marginalized and the power of music therapy, which can succeed where conventional medicine fails. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, TED Fellows, activism, live music, medicine, music, performance, violin,...
Raised listening to his dad's old records, Joey Alexander plays a brand of sharp, modern piano jazz that you likely wouldn't expect to hear from a pre-teenager. Listen as the 11-year-old delights the TED crowd with his very special performance of a Thelonious Monk classic. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, entertainment, jazz, live music, music, performance, TED2015, 2015
For musician Teitur, singing is about giving away a piece of yourself to others. "If your intentions are to impress people or to get the big applause at the end," he says, "then you are taking, not giving." Listen as he plays on stage at TED2015, offering two songs about love, distance and home. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, guitar, live music, music, performance, piano, TED2015, 2015
Reggie Watts’ beats defy boxes. Unplug your logic board and watch as he blends poetry and crosses musical genres in this larger-than-life performance. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, arts, entertainment, humor, live music, music, performance, poetry, TED2012,...
Usman Riaz is a 21-year-old whiz at the percussive guitar, a style he learned to play by watching his heroes on YouTube. The TED Fellow plays onstage at TEDGlobal 2012 -- followed by a jawdropping solo from the master of percussive guitar, Preston Reed. And watch these two guitarists take on a very spur-of-the-moment improv. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, TED Fellows, entertainment, live music, music, TEDGlobal 2012, 2012
At TEDxRotterdam, world champion whistler Geert Chatrou performs the whimsical "Eleonora" by A. Honhoff, and his own "Fête de la Belle." In a fascinating interlude, he talks about what brought him to the craft. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDxRotterdam 2010, TED, Talks, entertainment, live music, music, performance, 2010
Singer Rhiannon Giddens joins international music collective Silk Road Ensemble to perform "St. James Infirmary Blues," spiking the American folk song that Louis Armstrong popularized in the 1920s with Romani influence and mischievous energy. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, art, live music, music, performance, singer, vocals, TED2016, Silk
Composer Sxip Shirey makes music from the simple, dramatic act of breathing -- alone and together. Open your ears to a passionate 3 minutes. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2008, TED, Talks, entertainment, live music, music, short talk, 2008
The euphonium, with its sweet brass sound, is rarely heard outside of traditional brass bands. Cutting loose on the euph, prodigy Matthew White performs Nat McIntosh's hip-hop-inflected "The Warrior Comes Out to Play." Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, arts, creativity, live music, music, performance, TEDGlobal 2009, 2009
Choreographer Aakash Odedra is dyslexic and has always felt that his best expression comes through movement. “Murmur” is his ode to that experience, teaming up with co-creators Lewis Major and Ars Electronica Futurelab. Watch him spin his way through the center of a storm, as pages of books take flight all around him. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, dance, music, performance, TEDGlobal 2014, 2014